Defending a garden through the use of a boundary is very common, and there are several options that landowners can choose from. Wooden fences have been popular for many years, and they serve as effective boundaries for many properties.
However, hedges are the traditional boundary markers in the UK, and have long stood at the edges of fields. There are several sound reasons why hedges should be used instead of fences.
Nature and Hedges
Perhaps the main reason for using hedges as a garden boundary is that they are natural. Not only do they help to broaden the feel of the garden, they also attract nature into the space. Hedges are popular homes for many types of wildlife, including birds, insects and even hedgehogs, as well as small creatures looking for the shelter of a hedgerow. As more animals lose their natural woodland habitats, hedges are becoming an essential part of the environment.
For animals such as bees, hedges are also a good location to spend the winter, and can protect vulnerable insects during colder weather. You may think initially that you would not like to attract more insects, however with plenty of insects, come plenty of birds, making a livelier environment in your garden space.
Natural Weather Resistance
Hedges are part of nature and this means that they offer a stronger resistance to bad weather than other types of garden boundary. For example, strong winds can blow over fences easily because they offer a flat resistance to the force. Hedges, on the other hand, are permeable, meaning that winds can blow through them, so there is less resistance and less chance of the hedge being uprooted.
Hedges protect vulnerable plants from the effects of the wind and they can also be useful during snow or a frost – while fences can crack or lose paintwork in awful conditions, hedges are naturally resistant.
Another area where hedges are to be preferred over fences is in the matter of costs. Covering the entire boundary of the garden with a fence can cost hundreds of pounds and each year maintenance requirements will take even more out of your wallet. On the other hand, hedges can be bought affordably and really only require pruning occasionally.
They can also contribute compost, which saves on the cost of purchasing materials. In addition, poor weather can cause serious damage to fences, which will cost hundreds to repair, while the loss of a single bush can easily be recovered without so much outlay.
Choosing between a hedge and a fence can be difficult. Fences are generally an instant boundary, and arguably offer more reliable security. However, hedges tend to be more durable in the long term, and cost much less to install and maintain.
The better and more durable the hedge, the more likely it is that owners will also receive other benefits, such as an abundance of wildlife, and an increase in the amount of compost generated by the hedge, both of which can be a source of pleasure to a keen gardener.
Paul King the founder of King & Co The Tree Nursery Limited has a friendly and experienced team who are always happy to give advice on garden fencing, privacy screens and hedges.